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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Brendan Shanahan anyone?

Brendan Shanahan has had enough with the New York Rangers.  The 39 year old will be open to the free agent market.  Now the question is, if you could, would you take him on the Bruins? 

I would, which I know is against what you probably think.  But, think about it this way.  The Bruins have a 7 forwards under the age of 23.  That is young.  Shanahan would provide instant leadership and could help make the kids like Kessel, Wheeler and others develop into better players.  The 11th all time goal scorer could not hurt this team.  

Now, making room for him is another issue entirely.  As we all know, the entire roster will not stay healthy all season, Kobasew has already been out, Axelsson is injured every season, and anything can happen.  And, we could use some more help scoring.  Shanahan would provide more depth and help the PP out.  He had 11 PP goals last season.  A guy like Stephane Yelle could be placed on waivers to make room, or Blake Wheeler could be sent down to Providence to work more on his game.  

Price is another thing.  If Shanahan wants 3-4 million, then no thank you. But if the price is 1-2.5 million, you take a look.  


I don't know, but Shanahan looks a lot nicer up there than Axelsson.

How you like them Bruins?

You know how you can tell if a team is legit?  They win games they are supposed to.  The Bruins have been doing just that.  

Starting off with Atlanta after trailing 2-0, they came back to win 5-4.  Against Edmonton, they couldn't bury the puck, but timely saves from Tim Thomas and a overtime goal from Dennis Wideman later, the Bruins won 1-0.  Another late game against Vancouver, the team scored 1 goal, but still win 1-0 thanks to back to back shutouts from Tim Thomas.  

This team is for real.  Think about this, Chara hasn't played well, Ryder, Sturm, Bergeron, and others have yet to consistently score, and we are without Chuck Kobasew.  Yet, we are still 5-2-0-3.  

Tim Thomas is a number 1, like it or not.  Put it this way, if Ryan Miller or Mikka Kipprosuff posted Thomas's numbers from last season, people would be claiming how good they are, yet Tim Thomas posts his numbers and he still isn't a true number 1.  Aside from Brodeur and Luongo, none of the goalies are legit franchise goalies IMO.  

David Krejci is surpassing all of my expectations.  I didn't expect much from him even though all of you did.  I was wrong.  The guy is a Bergeron 2.0.  Speaking of, Bergeron has played well but is still rusty, which is understandable.  

Kessel has improved on his 2 way game a lot, making him a more complete player.  

I could go on, but I am really excited.  It'd be nice if someone could just beat Montreal....

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Bruins-5 Thrashers-4

Well, it was entertaining.  The Bruins came back from a 2-0 first period deficit and a 3-2 2nd period deficit to beat the Atlanta Thrashers 5-4.  Milan Lucic was the man of the night with a hat trick and an assist.  

The first period started off slow, with the Bruins playing like they did against Toronto.  The first goal was scored by Jason Williams on the powerplay.  A shot from the point deflected in on goal and was kicked out to the right of Fernandez where Williams chipped it in.  Nothing Manny could do.  With 10 seconds left in the 1st, Dennis Wideman made an awful play and instead of clearing the puck, hit it around the boards to Chara who whiffed on it and created a turnover with Atlanta having numbers and Mathieu Schneider hit a softy between Fernandez.  I think Fernandez misplayed the shot since he was expecting a hard one.  

The 2nd period was all Boston pretty much.  Shawn Thornton got things going by smacking a knuckleball puck onto net and off Stephane Yelle.  2 minutes later Michael Ryder found Milan Lucic camping in front and he put the puck past Hedberg.  Atlanta then retook the lead when Ilya Kovalchuk batted the puck out the air 20 feet from the goal and scored.  Amazing goal.  

In the 3rd, the Bruins took the lead on a Milan Lucic tip in from Dennis Wideman on the PP.  Atlanta then scored when Chara could not handle the puck behind the net and Armstrong fed Kozlov who beat Fernandez.  Manny could have it IMO.  The Bruins won with 1:53 left when Marc Savard did a nice forechecking job and found Lucic.  Lucic had a 2 on 1 with Kessel down low and tried to feed him, but the puck bounced back to him and he somehow put in under Enstrom and Hedberg.  

Now to the negative.  Once again, the penalty kill was horrid and allowed 3 pp goals.  The team still is struggling to get the puck out of the defensive zone and also to bring the puck into the offensive zone.  Getting the puck out around the boards has been an issue, whiffing on clearing attempts has led to some goals.  Chara has been struggling of late, and it may be his shoulder or something, but he isn't on top of his game still.  The defense has also had problems with an aggressive forecheck.  

The offense finally came through with a great performance, and 2 power play goals which has been a struggle as of late which is a positive.  Fernandez played well despite giving up 2 softies.  He made some great saves at keys times.  I feel like he is starting to come around.

In all, we got a win, good job tonight.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Bruins lose to Toronto

I was at this game, and boy did it suck.  Great first period with Wideman sending a Leaf into another area code on a huge hit mid ice.  Bergeron and Wheeler scored to make it 2-0 after one.  But, I still felt the Bruins were outplayed a little that period and could not get the puck out of the zone or into the offensive zone with any pressure.

Lucic then exploded the glass on a huge hit which you think would have gave the team some momentum.  No.  The Leafs score two goals to tie it.  The defense was horrid, they could not get the puck out of the zone all night.  They also had 7 penalties, which you can't win by doing that.

Axelsson, Sturm, Yelle and others missed wide open tip ins, shots, etc.  We once again can't put the puck in the net.  Kessel is the only one who can create offense by himself.  Yelle is this year's Glen Murray.  I see a trend with only 5 goals in the past 3 games.  No offense.  Once again, we have no legit scorer to put games away.  Kessel is developing into one, Ryder doesn't seem to be the answer so far.  Let me list teams with 40-50 goal scorers or better scorers than the Bruins.  This team won't be a legit contender until they have a true sniper.

Chicago-Havlat (when healthy)
Detroit-Hossa, Zetterberg
Los Angeles-Kopitar, Frolov
New Jersey-Rolston, Elias, Gionta (potentially)
Rangers-(Had Jagr), Naslund
Phoenix-Doan, Jokinen
San Jose-Cheechoo, Thornton
St. Louis-Boyes
Tampa Bay- St. Louis, Lecavalier
Toronto- none
Vancouver- none
Washington- Ovechkin

Some of these may be debatable, but the point remains the same, we need to put the puck in the net, especially when 1 goal can kill a team with  2 goal lead, but when you have a 2 goal lead and give up one, you let them back in the game. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

6 games, 3 SO losses

Not good, not good.  We should have won against Pittsburgh, Montreal and Buffalo.

I don't know what Julien tells these guys, but you have to finish these games.  The goalies have played decent in the shootouts, we have had chances to win against Buffalo and Pittsburgh and we could not, so the blame goes to the offense.

Only Kessel and Krejci have consistency in the shootouts.  The Bruins don't deke enough, too much wrist shots.

While it's only 3 points, these are important come March and April when we are looking at the standings for playoff spots.  3 points could be the difference between 8th and out.  

My shootout lineup would be.....


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

10/15/08 Bruins vs. Canadiens: Preview

Let's f*ck them up.  This will be either a close gritty game, or a blowout on the Habs side.  We can tell by the 18:00 minute mark of the 1st if the Habs get a few bounces and 2 goals quick.  

Keys to winning:
-Clog up the neutral zone, don't let Montreal skate
-No shitty unlucky goals, make them legit
-Try and get out early
-Make them play your game.


I am not feeling the shaky goaltending or the defense


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sobotka, Hunwick Recalled

The Bruins recalled Vladimir Sobotka and Matt Hunwick from Providence today. Sobotka will battle Nokelainen and Thornton for a spot on the fourth line. I wouldn't be surprised to occasionally see Sobotka skate on the 3rd line with Milan Lucic moving back to the fourth. With the Alberts trade, it is apparent the Bruins have more confidence in Hunwick then they had in Alberts. I would not be surprised to see him dress over Hnidy in the near future. Hunwick who looked good in the preseason, possesses good skating ability and has above average puck handling skills. His weaknesses are his lack of size and his defensive play in his own end.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Alberts traded to Philly for Lukacevic and pick

The Bruins traded D Andrew Alberts to the Philadelphia Flyers for Ned Luckacevic and a conditional 4th round draft pick (turns into a 3rd if he re-signs).  

This means that Lashoff could be called up for the 6th/7th defensive spot with Hnidy seeing more playing time.  This was mostly a cap cutting cost, shedding 1.25 million off the cap, a substantial amount.  This gives the Bruins a lot more flexibility regarding trades and call-ups.  

Luckacevic is a prospect who will see a lot of time in Providence.  He has never played in the NHL.  The 4th round pick basically replaces the pick sent to Minnesota in the Manny Fernandez deal.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Kobasew: Fractured Right Leg

RW Chuck Kobasew is out indefinitely with a fracture on the right leg, presumed to be around the ankle.  He was hit by a shot in the season opener vs. Colorado, but finished the game with 2 assists.

It sucks Kobasew is out seeing he is a very valuable part of the team.  It seems like he could miss 2-4 weeks with this and it seems like Sobotka may be on his way back up.

10/11/08 Boston @ Minnesota: Preview

The Bruins are coming off a season opening 5-4 victory over the Colorado Avalanche.  The Wild play their home opener tonight.  They place a very defensive game not allowing very many shots on goal.  The Wild are not offensively gifted with Marian Gaborik carrying most of the load, but he comes into with a contract issue and trade rumors.  Manny Fernandez looks like he is going to get the start against his former team tonight.  

Keys to winning:
-Better defensive play, less turnovers.
-No stupid penalties (you Aaron Ward).
-Take advantage of opportunities.  

Minnesota will come out flying on adrenaline, and the Bruins will have trouble finding the back of the net with Minnesota's trap style.


Friday, October 10, 2008

10/9/08 Boston @ Colorado: Recap


Kessel (1) from Bergeron (1) and Ference (1)
Wheeler (1) from Krejci (1) and Kobasew (1)
Savard (1) from Chara (1) and Bergeron (2)
Ryder (1) from Savard (1) and Axelsson (1)
Krejci (1) from Kobasew (2) and Lucic (1)

A interesting game, so good things, some bad.  I only watched the first period before going to bed, so my recap is limited.  The offense had 20 shots and scored 5 goals, which I take as a positive.  The young guys played well, Krejci, Kessel and Wheeler, all scoring goals.  The offense looked better.  Bergeron had a few chances which he could not finish, but it was his first game back.

The defense was awful.  They let Colorado walk in and a lot of turnovers.  Not a fluid game for them.  Thomas looked spastic at times, but he did face almost 40 shots.  Overall, it was a good game to win, especially since it was high scoring.  Expect the first month to be tough with a lot of home openers for other teams and them coming out with a lot of energy.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Sobotka sent down

The Bruins sent down Vladimir Sobotka to Providence today.  

I kind of had a feeling about this.  He will likely be the number 1 call up, but there was not a lot of space for him.  If Stephane Yelle does not play well, Sobotka could get the call up.  Sobotka should be with the team, but it is kind of a logjam with the forward positions.  

10/9/08 Boston @ Colorado: Preview

The season opener for the Boston Bruins and the home opener for the Colorado Avalanche.  The Bruins have had a tough time over the past few seasons in season openers, going 0-3 since the lockout.  Maybe the 4th time is the charm.  The Avs come in with one of the best defenses in the league and a fairly good offense.  The Avs goaltending is very weak with Petr Budaj and Andrew Raycroft, and the Bruins should have no trouble scoring on them.  

Keys to winning:
-Come out flying early, don't let them set the tone of the game, esp. in a home opener.
-Work the PP and score some goals off it.
-Finish, the thing we could not do last year, chances don't mean anything when you can't finish.
-Don't turn the puck over.

This could be a tough game with Colorado's home opener, but I feel like the Bruins have a solid game.


Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Nate Thompson Claimed

Nate Thompson was claimed by the New York Islanders.

Sucks to see him go, but he isn't a huge loss.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Season Preview

The Boston Bruins were picked to finish near the bottom of Eastern Conference by many in 2007-2008.  Even with numerous injuries during the season, (Manny Fernandez, Patrice Bergeron, Andrew Alberts) the Bruins were able to squeak into the playoffs to finish 8th in the Eastern Conference, with a record of 41-29-12 and 94 points.  They took the number 1 seeded Montreal Canadiens to a 7th game in the first round of the playoffs despite going 0-9-1 against them in the regular season and being without arguably their best player in Patrice Bergeron, and one of their leading scorers in Chuck Kobasew.  

The 2008-2009 seasons brings a new chapter to the team and its fans.  The much anticipated return of C Patrice Bergeron after his season ending concussion.  The development of Milan Lucic, Phil Kessel, David Krejci, Vladimir Sobotka and Petteri Nokelainen.  And, the emergence of former 5th overall pick Blake Wheeler.

But, the season also has many questions marks.  How will Manny Fernandez play?  Will Patrice Bergeron be his former self?  Will Michael Ryder be a 30 goal scorer or a 4 millon dollar bust?  Will the offense step up?  Will Milan Lucic go through a sophmore slump?  Can they stay healthy?  You can ask all the questions you want, but in the end, the Bruins team on paper is one of the top teams in the East.  Once again the Bruins are ranked between 12 and 20 in most national rankings, but they will surprise many people.

Offseason Moves:
-Signed Michael Ryder (Montreal) to a 3 year deal worth 12 million dollars.
-Signed Stephane Yelle (Calgary) to a 1 year deal worth 750k.
-Signed Blake Wheeler (Phoenix) to a 2 year entry level deal.

Key Losses:
-Glen Metropolit (Philadelphia)
-Alex Auld (Ottawa)
-Glen Murray (Free Agent)
-Peter Schaefer (Providence)
-Jeremy Reich (Providence)

The 08-09 Bruins team remains almost intact from the previous season.  Michael Ryder will provide a true sniper on the right wing with Marc Savard.  Ryder replaces Glen Murray who was bought-out this past offseason.  Murray could no longer skate and with his legs went his shot.  Ryder had back to back 30 goal seasons and has scored 25+ goals 3 out of his 4 seasons.  However, he did only have 14 goals last season, but he did not play many minutes and rarely saw PP time.  Blake Wheeler, who was supposed to play in Providence this season, played so well during training camp that he earned a spot on the roster.  Stephane Yelle, a Stanley Cup champion, provides leadership and defensive responsibility.  He is a great face-off guy as well, and replaces Glen Metrpolit in the lineup.

The Bruins struggled to score last season, near the bottom of the league with 212 goals.  They upgraded on the wing with Michael Ryder over Glen Murray.  They also have the development of Kessel, Krejci, Lucic, Sobotka and Nokelainen.  And, not to forget, the return of Patrice Bergeron.  That alone should increase the total amount of goals.  While the Bruins won't win a lot of shootout type games, this season should be able to score more goals and be able to stay in game in which they give up 2, 3, and 4 goals.  Marc Sturm, Marc Savard, Phil Kessel, Patrice Bergeron, Michael Ryder, and PJ Axelsson round out the top 6.  This team is extremely deep at forward, and look for a lot of line shuffling to make the most of the offense. 

The Bruins had one of the better teams defensively in the league.  Zdeno Chara played like a Norris Trophy caliber player while Dennis Wideman developed into one of the better young offensive defenseman in the league, making the Brad Boyes trade seem better.  Aaron Ward is still back and provides all around solid play and timely goals.  Mark Stuart showed strides last season and should continue to develop.  Andrew Ference remains, and the Bruins hope he steps up his game from last year.  Andrew Alberts returns after an injury plagued season and Shane Hnidy is the 7th defenseman.  

Tim Thomas, an All-Star last season, will still be the number one this season.  Manny Fernandez will likely battle him for the top spot and if healthy, they could provide a nice duo.  Hot prospect Tuukka Rask will remain in Providence barring a trade or injury.  The goaltending has thought to be an issue in the past, but with the play of Thomas over the past few seasons, the goaltending is no longer an issue.

Overall, this Bruins teams seems poised to make some damage.  This was a 94 point team without Bergeron or Fernandez.  They were the only team to make the playoffs that allowed more goals than they scored.  They had 12 OT losses.  If they had won a few more, plus splitting with Montreal, and had Bergeron not gotten injured, this team EASILY could have been a 104+ point team.  Take the team from last season and add the pieces they acquired and developed this offseason, and the Bruins could challenge for the top spot in the East.  At the same time, if the young guys don't pan out, the season could be a disappointment, but why worry?

47-25-10, 106 points, 2nd in East.

Your lines

Axe on the 1st line?  Possibly.   These lines according to Fluto Shinzawa of the Boston Globe.


Nokie, Sobotka




I agree with the D and G, but the offense I'd tweak.


Thornton, Sobotka

Final Cuts and more

As expected, Jeremy Reich and Nate Thompson were waived.  I highly doubt Thompson will be claimed, and it seems he will stay with the Providence Bruins.

Jeremy Reich is unlikely to be claimed as well, but if a team in need of an enforcer decides to take a claim, Reich's days as a B could be over.  

Matt Hunwick was demoted to Providence, no surprise, he played well and could have a spot in the future.

Peter Schaefer could be brought up on re-entry waivers, and Chiarelli said he did not receive proper value for Schaefer, which would not be much since we dealt Shean Donovan for him.  Schaefer could be injury insurance.

The Blog will be updates Thursday for the season.  I know it outdated and such.  Posts will be more continuous from now on and hopefully there will be more things to talk about.

Wheeler makes team, more cuts to come

Blake Wheeler has made the team for this season.

Hunwick, Thompson and Reich are the most likely to go.  

Schaefer on Waivers

In a not so surprising move, the Bruins have place LW Peter Schaefer and his 2.1 million dollar salary on waivers.  If he clears, he will be demoted to Providence, not bought out.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Savard for Seabrook and Skille

According to Spector, the Hawks may pursue Marc Savard with a package of Brent Seabrook and Jack Skille.

No, the Bruins are not trading Savard.  Considering we still can't score, I don't think dealing our best offensive playmaker for defense is a good idea.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Savard for Bieksa

Hahahaha.  Wow.  Ek really pulled this out of his ass.  Marc Savard to Vancouver for Kevin Bieksa.  

I don't think Chiarelli is MOC.   Arguably the best playmaker in the league, for one of the most affordable deals in the league over the next 2 seasons (5 million per) for a 27 year old defender with one good season.  (42 points 81 games in 06-07).

Don't worry Bruins fans, this is a joke.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

New Lines

Nokelainen, Thornton

Schaefer, Reich out


Hnidy out

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